Recording absences before and after care due to COVID-19

We don’t usually pay Child Care Subsidy (CCS) for any absences before a child’s first, or after their last, physical attendance. There are exceptions to this rule to support families impacted by COVID-19 between 1 December 2021 and 30 June 2022.

Services must take action to ensure CCS is paid in these circumstances. The required action will depend on when the absence occurs. See instructions below.

Enrolment starts or ends between 1 January and 28 February 2022

If an enrolment starts or ends between 1 January and 28 February 2022, we’ll pay CCS for any absences that occur before the child’s first day, or after their last day of care.

While the support is in recognition of the impact of the Omicron wave, the absences can be taken for any reason.

This does not apply in Western Australia as COVID-19 has not had a significant impact on child care attendance.

To ensure absences are paid in this situation, services must submit a $0 session of care.

How to submit a $0 session of care

If the absence occurred before the child’s first physical attendance:

Record an attendance on the first day of the child’s enrolment. Use the following details:

  • session fee: $0.00
  • session start time: 6.00 am to 6.15 am (use another 15-minute period if this time conflicts with an actual absence)
  • session description: COVID-19 first day of care.

If the absence occurred after the child’s last physical attendance:

Record an attendance on the last day of the child’s enrolment. Use the following details:

  • session fee: $0.00
  • session start time: 10.00 pm to 10.15 pm (use another 15-minute period if this time conflicts with an actual absence)
  • session description: COVID-19 last day of care.

Services should talk to families about the action taken and ensure they receive the benefit of the payment.

Absences between 1 December 2021 and 30 June 2022

For all other enrolments, including in Western Australia, we’ll pay CCS for absences that occur in the 7 days before the child’s first day, or after their last day of care, if the child or a member of their immediate household must isolate due to COVID-19.

This applies in all states and territories from 1 December 2021 to 30 June 2022.

Services should record the absence using the reason code: child ill.

The family does not need to provide evidence to the service. Services must not indicate that they hold evidence for the absence unless the child is ill and the family has provided a medical certificate.

Learn more about COVID-19 support for the early childhood sector.